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Thoughts on my Italy Itinerary - 10 days - Rome/Florence/Venice

Thoughts on my Italy Itinerary - 10 days - Rome/Florence/Venice

Sep 29th, 2009, 01:54 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Thoughts on my Italy Itinerary - 10 days - Rome/Florence/Venice

My wife and I are headed to Italy in a few weeks for our delayed honeymoon, and are very excited about the trip. We have been planning our trip for a while, and have a general idea of what we wanted to do, but we did want to run our ideas by you Fodorites to get your take on our itinerary.

We will be
Arriving Rome - Wednesday 10/14- Noon time, staying until Saturday 10/17 - Noon time
Train to Florence
Florence - Saturday 10/17 - Wednesday 10/21 - Noon Time
Train to Venice
Venice - Wednesday 10/21 - Saturday 10/21 - Departing early morning

What we plan on doing:
Rome

Wed 10/14
Spanish Steps, get a feel for that area (where we are staying)

Thur 10/15
Palatine Hill/Colosseum
The Roman Forum
Pantheon - at dusk
Trevi Fountain - nighttime

Fri 10/16
Vatican
St. Peter's Basilica

Sat 10/17
Train to Florence
Palazzo Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio
Pizzale Michaelangelo

Sun 10/18
Duomo
Giotto's_Campanile
Uffizi

Mon 10/19
Bus to Siena for day trip

Tue 10/20
San Giminigano or Lucca/Pisa for a day trip

Wed 10/21
Train to Venice
San Marco Square
Basilica
Waterfront area

Thur 10/22
Exploring (getting lost) in Venice

Fri 10/23
Lido
Possibly Treviso

As a general idea, does our planned itinerary work? Or are we being too ambitious, or on the other hand, overestimating how long some of these items will take? We have a few weeks before our trip, and other than the hotels and dates, we are flexible. All thoughts and critiques are very welcome. Thanks in advance to all!
g0m0 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 02:12 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I wouldn't do the Pantheon at dusk. The fascination of the Pantheon is the big "eye" in the ceiling. Do it during the bright sun hours -- although it is also fascinating in the rain. Unless you have mobility problems you can probably do it after the Vatican, and enjoy resting your bones in the lively piazza outside it.

Were it me, I would skip the Lido -- seriously, I live in Italy, have spent more time than most in Venezia, and finally went to the Lido out of curiousity and? There is not a lot to see or experience there. But TORCELLO? That is extremely rewarding -- historically, artistically and as just a lovely break from tourist-swarmed Venezia.

Since this is a delayed honeymoon, I would err in favor of following your nose and being romantic. Roma at night is fantastic -- incredibly atmospheric. Places like the Portico d'Ottavia or wherever you find yourselves in Trastevere or in the byways of Piazza Navona are much, much more memorable than everything stuffed into the bloated, sex-hating Vatican (well, it doesn't hate some sex) -- anyway, you get the point. Some of the lesser talked about artistic triumphs of Firenze (Florence), like Museo San Marco, or the museum of the duomo, maybe the gardens, maybe the historic farmacia, maybe the silly cafe on the traffic island with the cheap wine because your feet were sore, the back rooms of a scuola in Venezia...

On the other hand, if you have dreamed all your life of standing within a few feet of a Da Vinci...

Have a great trip.
zeppole is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 03:01 PM
  #3  
 
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Posts: 506
I would stay in Venice since your time there is so short and skip both the Lido and especially Treviso. venice is so unique.

Get up very early one day and go see them set up the Rialto Fish and Vegetable market. plan to arrive around 06:30 or 07:00. It really is quite fascinating. Venice is truly magical early as you make your way there. Then find a place in the area for a caffe and brioche.
notbob is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 03:11 PM
  #4  
 
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Posts: 52,821
ho, gomo,

generallyyou have the right idea of grouping sights there are geographically close to each other together, but IMO you have misjudged some of the timings.

i would alter you itinerary thus:

Wed 10/14
Spanish Steps, pantheon, campo dei fiori, piazza navona, etc, ending with the trevi fountain at night.

Thur 10/15
Palatine Hill/Colosseum
The Roman Forum
Trastevere for supper [i agreee with Zeppole about this area -it's not to be missed]

Fri 10/16
Vatican
St. Peter's Basilica
anything else your feet can stand!

Sat 10/17
Train to Florence
Palazzo Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio
Pizzale Michaelangelo - why, particularly? if you want lovely views of Florence, why not get the bus up to fiesole?

Sun 10/18
Duomo
Giotto's_Campanile
Uffizi

Mon 10/19
Bus to Siena for day trip

Tue 10/20
San Giminigano or Lucca/Pisa for a day trip OR more sights in Florence eg the bargelo museum, the accademia for the David, the pitti palace, the medici chapel, etc.etcd.

generally, i would reckon on ONE day trip being enough whilst in Florence, not 2 in the space of 4 days.

Wed 10/21
Train to Venice
San Marco Square
Basilica
Waterfront area

Thur 10/22
Exploring (getting lost) in Venice
you could book the "secret Itineraries" tour of the Doge's palace for this day, and/or a a morning in Santa Croce/san polo starting at the rialto [fish] market, then the Frari and the sculoa di san rocco, followed by the accademia &/or the guggenheim.

Fri 10/23
NOT the Lido or Treviso. like Zeppole, on a first trip I would prefer to go out to the islands like torcello. you could do a lovely tour starting with the boat to Burano, see the lace museum and the very pretty houses, then the ferry to Torcello, have lunch, see the cathedral [last renovated 1000 years ago, LOL] boat back to Burano, then boat to Murano, have tea, boat back to Venice. or any variation thereof.

enjoy your trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Certainly ignore the Lido, and my experiences of Murano were not all that memorable. I would also not take a day out of time in Venice to go to Treviso, unless I had special reasons to go there.
We had a very happy day going by vaporetto to Burano and Torcello. A suggestion, if you go to Burano. Get off the vaporetto at Mazzorbo, which is the stop before Burano, and you can then walk to Burano. To quote my trip report -

Mazzorbo, just beside Burano and connected by footbridge, was big in its day. In Roman times, the site of a shrine to the god Belanus, and its name means “major urbis”, “big town”. The Mazzorbo customs controlled entry of trade from Germany, indeed most of Eastern Europe and there was a series of particularly flash convents and monasteries, five in all, particularly rich, inhabited by particularly racy nuns. Palaces lined the canal, and merchants made it comfortable. In the mid 1700’s, eight campaniles still stood there, probably demolished since and the bricks recycled.

Malaria, silting of canals, and the rise of the Rialto exchange did for Mazzorbo, as it did for Torcello. By the eleventh century, the place was in decline, and the citizens mostly decided to emigrate. They took their houses with them, loaded into barges stone by stone, to Venice, where they were re-erected near the Rialto. One wonders if they were considered trailer trash by the Venetians. Mazzorbo now contains the cemetery for Burano, some modern housing in a style that could be called “functional-brutalist meets Victorian Ministry of Housing”, and not a great deal else. A few gardens, a little trattoria, that’s it, a rather melancholy it, a thousand years after its greatness. There are many vacant houses, and you think “At some time, someone spent the night in that house, and nobody has slept there since”. It sends a slight shiver down the spine.

We travelled across the lagoon as calm as glass, channel markers standing like old sentinels. A strange, melancholy feel to the whole environment. One can’t avoid the melancholy in Venice.
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Sep 30th, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5
Hi g0m0
I think your have done very well in planning your itinary so that it is very realistic but still leaves room for spontanous stops and/or for unstable weather. The improvements suggested above also seem very valid. Just a few points:

In Rome I would consider sticking with your original plan for the first day (though include Panthenon). Even if you are not a shopper, the shopping area and Piazza del Popolo warrants more time than you would have if you add both Campo di Fiori and Piazza Navona (and you. You can do these on the day back from the Vatican/St. Peter. Also, I assume you have booked tickets for the Vatican already, otherwise this is a big time saver. You have probably planned this already, but to be safe: Remember that you can probably follow a tour group out of the Sixtine chapel and thereby save yourself time/hassle of queuing to get into St. Peter.

For Florence, I agree 100% with annhig, consider spending the third day there instead of going to San G. or Pisa/Lucca. Both are interesting but to my mind does not justify the travel time when you only have four days. This would also allow you to use Tuesday for Siena in case Monday has poor weather.
jotoha is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 10:18 AM
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Agree to skip the Lido. It's a beach resort, not at its best in late October. You don't have enough time to see the major sights in the main parts of Venice anyway. You won't really have time for any excursions unless you're going to skip some major sights in historic Venice.
Paul1950 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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We spent 5 days in Venice last April, and agree that you should spend as much time as possible just in Venice itself. There are great guided walks to get you into the feel of the history of the city....there are so many neat neighborhoods. We never got tired of the Rialto area, and I agree with annhig that the Scuolo di San Rocco, it stunning, as is the Frari Church..and the area around them is wonderful. We also had a fun evening crossing the Guidecca Canal and going to the roof of the Hilton to watch the sunset and have a drink!

After 5 days there (1 day to Murano and Burano...okay, but I think we'll try Torcello when we return in Sept.2010) we still have many things to see and do..I could walk around there forever..I envy Peter_S_Aus the time he had there.
PamConlan is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 05:45 AM
  #9  
 
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I am one who enjoys the Lido and heads there for a couple of hours whenever in Venice. The last two Octobers it was a nice break from the crowds of Venice proper and my husband and I were happy we made the short trip. The ride was nice as well.
kfusto is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 05:56 AM
  #10  
 
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I would vote for passing Lido by since time is so short.

DH and I went to Treviso and felt we could have skipped it also. We were expecting the same romantic charm as Venice and we missed it. Unless you have a special reason for visiting, I'd give that a skip also.

Agree about seeing Rotonda during day.

Have a wonderful time and belated congrats!
TDudette is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 05:46 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 205
You are getting great advise! My husband and I travel often to Italy - we love Rome and we've spent many weeks/months in Venice. I like all the suggestions IE forget Lido but Torcello is special. The only piece I would add is that I thought the Domus Aurea in Rome was an amazing picture of Roman history. It's the buried palazzo of Nero - being carefully excavated. You can walk through the rooms where he actually lived...the Romans were angry and completely buried his house when he died -but that actually preserved the place. There is a fantastic sense of history in this underground space. Most visitors to Rome don't seem to go there - not sure why.
giannetta is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 08:26 PM
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>>Most visitors to Rome don't seem to go there - not sure why.<<

It was closed for several years as too many tourists were not good for the preservation. It reopened briefly (2007) and then closed again. I'm not sure of the current status. I was there in 2003.
kybourbon is offline  
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